“Do you know Polyiso?”

What Is Polyisocyanurate Insulation?

One type of insulation you can choose for your RIDGLOK® tank insulation system is polyisocyanurate insulation.  This type of insulation is ideal for storage tanks in all industries because it does not absorb moisture (<1% Vol.) and can be used for both cold and hot operating temperatures (-40°F to 250°F). It also has a high R-Value of R-6 per inch. If you are not yet familiar with PIR or polyiso insulation, as it’s often called, here are some facts about this material:

How Is It Made?

Polyisocyanurate insulation is created from rigid, closed-cell foam. It has a core of foam in the center that has been placed between facers that provide a vapor barrier. Generally, these facers are made from fiberglass or reinforced aluminum foil.

Polyisocyanurate insulation is found in many different commercial and residential buildings, often used in the walls and roof. However, it’s also an ideal type of insulation to use for storage tank insulation systems, namely the Vertical Standing Seam Panel Insulation System (VSSI).

What Are The Benefits?

The biggest benefit to polyisocyanurate insulation is its R-Value per inch. It has the highest R-Value per inch out of any rigid foam board insulation, which means it’s very efficient and will greatly decrease the amount of heat or cold transfer between the tank contents and the atmospheric environment (<0.3 perms ASTM E96).  Polyiso is unique in that the R-Value increases with the thickness of the foam, so three inches of polyiso has a higher R-Value per inch than two inches, according to www.polyiso.org.  Tanks with RIDGLOK® VSSI systems (See Firgure-1) that use polyisocyanurate insulation will use less energy and keep the internal temperature of the tank very consistent in conjunction with heaters or chillers.

0001 (1)The compressive strength of polyisocyanurate insulation is structurally rigid at 20 psi (ASTM D1621).  It will adhere to metal jacketing well and handle light foot traffic.   The rigidity also helps maintain the structure of the VSSI Panel when installed in the field on storage tanks.

You can use polyisocyanurate insulation in environments that range from -40 degrees F to 250 degrees F. While it isn’t the most versatile insulation in regards to temperature range, it is still a good option for all tanks that must be kept at a consistent temperature under 250°F.  The flame spread performance tested at 75 or less, however is available in a less than 25 option (ASTM E84).

Environmental Benefits

Polyisocyanurate insulation is a great choice for “going green”. It reduces the amount of fossil fuels required to keep the tank at a specific temperature. This will reduce the company’s air pollution by cutting down on the greenhouse gases emitted from their tank equipment. The use of recycled materials in the insulation is another great environmental benefit. In some cases, the facers are made from 100% recycled materials. This insulation is also CFC- and HCFC-free, plus it is manufactured without using any blowing agents that deplete the ozone layer.

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Battery Manufacturing


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The Versatility of the RIDGLOK® Panel Insulation System


MC&I’s unique RIDGLOK® vertical standing seam panel insulation system is the most cost effective and low maintenance storage tank insulation option available today. The panels that make up this insulation system are manufactured in the United States, but that doesn’t mean that they’re only used in the U.S. In fact, RIDGLOK® Panel Insulation Systems are so versatile, that they have been shipped to many other parts of the world. For example, a dairy company in Burnie, Tasmania, recently purchased materials to insulate an anaerobic digester tank for a large 110.56’ x 31.33’ wastewater tank.

This panel insulation system was manufactured at the Reed, Kentucky, factory and then shipped to Tasmania via trans modal freight. It was used to insulate a tank designed to produce biogas. Insulation helps keep the temperature steady, a necessity in order to keep the tank working efficiently.

Versatile Uses

In addition to being used in a number of countries, RIDGLOK® Panel Insulation Systems can be used in a wide variety of different industries.  Because it can be customized to fit the dimensions of any above ground storage tank, there’s no project that can’t make use of RIDGLOK® Panel Insulation Systems. The fact that this insulation can be installed while the tank continues to operate, highlights yet another versatile ability of the system.

Here are just a few of the different industries that can take advantage of RIDGLOK® Panel Insulation Systems:

  • Agriculture
  • Chemical Plants
  • Energy
  • Fire Protection
  • Petrochemicals

RIDGLOK® Panel Insulation Systems can be used to insulate a wide number of tanks, including water tanks, chemical tanks, waste water storage tanks, and anaerobic digesters and more. It’s been used by municipalities, military bases, manufacturing plants, bio-pharmaceutical companies, and airports.

Why Choose RIDGLOK® Panel Insulation Systems

Why are RIDGLOK® Panel Insulation Systems used in all of these different industries? The insulation system has a number of different advantages to other types of insulation. As already mentioned, it can be installed while the tank is still in use, preventing costly shutdowns and lost time. It’s also very easy to maintain once it’s installed, and maintenance can be done while the tank is still in operation.

RIDGLOK® Panel Insulation Systems can also save a company a large amount of money by reducing costs in several different ways. First, insulation decreases the amount of energy needed to keep the interior of the tank cooled or heated to a specific temperature. Our system loses very little energy, so companies are able to use less fuel.  Second, by using insulation to improve the temperature regulation, there are fewer inconsistencies in temperature or slow-down times while the temperature is adjusted. This allows manufacturing plants to operate more efficiently and produce more products.

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Meeting Petrochemical Terminal Challenges


One of the most important tasks you have is to ensure that you keep up with the required maintenance on your petrochemical terminals. You know how devastatingly expensive it can be if you have a tank down for repairs. It’s worse if you discover that had the maintenance you deferred for a couple of months could have saved you all this trouble. MC&I, Inc. can handle not only the maintenance for you, but also the repairs.

Weather Considerations

Storage tanks have to be checked routinely because they are subject to a variety of weather conditions. If you are near the coast in Georgia, Florida or South Carolina, you know the kinds of abuse the weather throws at your tanks. You have to deal with the moisture, the sea salt and the corrosive effects they have on your equipment. And when those winds start blowing,  look out. If you have an older horizontal insulation system, you can end up with pieces flying off. You must get that repaired quickly or you’ll end up losing the insulation next.

The good news is that MC&I can handle that for you too. We are experts at maintaining, repairing and replacing tank insulation. We will find the right solution for you. We can save you money with the safe removal/repair of your existing insulation, which also increases the life of your insulation and prevents further insulation or tank damage. If the insulation cannot be repaired, we can implement a solution for that too.

What is RIDGLOK?

RIDGLOK is a vertical standing seam panel insulation system that can be used for both cold and hot tanks whether they are flat bolted, chimed bolted, glass lined, fiberglass, welded, stainless steel, or concrete. It is built to fit your specific design requirements and it can be used in both horizontal or vertical tanks. RIDGLOK has various insulation materials and our tank insulation systems are manufactured to the customer’s specific specifications. There are several insulation material options including Polyisocyanurate insulation board, Mineral wool Insulation, and Fiberglass Insulation.   Because of the long lifespan, low maintenance and durability,  RIDGLOK Panel Systems are the superior choice among all tank insulation systems.

The varying insulation types mean that we can create a solution for you that can insulate your tanks, whether you’re operating in temperatures of -40 or temperatures of 1200 degrees. All you have to do is give us the specs and we will design and manufacture an insulation system that will get the job done.



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RIDGLOK is Versatile


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What RIDGLOK® Offers


The RIDGLOK® Vertical Standing Seam Panel Insulation System puts safety first. The system complies with NFPA 22, Section 16.4 requirements for tank insulation as outlined in the ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals. The panel systems can make use of various types of insulation depending on the operating temperature of the tanks and the needed R-value and moisture absorbency, including polyisocyanurate, mineral wool board, fiberglass, cellular glass blocks, pyrogel XT, and cryogel Z. A number of different metals can be used as well.

In particularly cold areas, you can combine RIDGLOK® with additional heater equipment in order to make it even easier and affordable to keep tanks at a specific temperature.

Ease of Installation and Maintenance

This system of tank insulation is unlike conventional insulation systems because it is made up of individual panels that require no maintenance.  They are also very easy to install and require no welding of shell supports.  Each individual panel can be replaced as needed, keeping overall maintenance costs low. Best of all, RIDGLOK® panel insulation systems can last for 25 years or more.

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